Tag: dish

Dish

Can You Freeze Sushi?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of vinegared rice topped with slices of seafood – typically raw fish – and a smidge of wasabi. Since the raw ingredients degrade quickly at room temperature, sushi must be kept chilled at a low temperature prior to serving. So can you freeze sushi?

If say, you made too much sushi or you’ve got leftover sushi from your favorite Japanese restaurant, is freezing a good idea at all? Most people think that freezing sushi will degrade the quality of the fish because ice crystals will form within the fish.

Image used under Creative Commons from Tony Gladvin George

You might be surprised but the “raw” seafood used in sushi has been frozen for several days prior to being cut for the dish! In fact, US regulation requires tuna to be flash frozen seconds after the fish has been harvested to retain freshness.

That means it’s perfectly safe to freeze raw seafood used as ingredients for sushi. What about the rice and other ingredients, do they keep well in the freezer?

How you prepare the sushi rice for freezing will affect the grain’s overall texture. Usually, packing cold rice for freezing will lead to dry, crumbly, or hard results. If you are making sushi from scratch, it’s best to 1) pack the vinegared rice separately from the raw seafood and 2) pack the rice while it’s still steaming in an airtight container.

What about sushi leftovers? Can you freeze it? Technically, any type of food can be frozen. However, sushi does not freeze well. The rice and the nori wrapper could become soggy, broken to bits or simply unappetizing to look at once thawed. That being said, thawed sushi is safe to eat. So really, the choice is yours.

When kept in the fridge, sushi will only keep for 10 to 24 hours. But when kept in the freezer, sushi will keep fresh for up to 3 months. Of course, it’s best to consume sushi as soon as you can for optimal flavor and texture. Below is the step by step guide on how can you freeze sushi:

Image used under Creative Commons from baron valium

How to Freeze Sushi?

Freezing Homemade Sushi

If you are making sushi at home and you’re anticipating a lot of leftovers, it’s best to freeze the ingredients separately. Just assemble the ingredients after thawing. To do this, just prepare the ingredients as you normally would such as washing the block of fish or raw seafood, cooking and seasoning the sushi rice, etc.

Once this is done, prepare several airtight containers. Place the fish in the first container. Do not slice the fish, do this only when you are ready to prep the sushi for serving. This will prevent frost from ruining the texture of the fish. Seal the container with the airtight lid, write the storage date and then stick in the freezer.

Spoon the vinegared rice into the second container. The rice should be steaming hot, not cooled to retain the grain’s sticky, moist consistency. Seal the container with the airtight lid, write the storage date and then stick in the freezer.

Finally, pack the nori wrapper in a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze the air out prior to sealing then write the storage date. Stick the plastic bag in the freezer and you’re done.

Freezing Leftover Sushi

Since leftover sushi is fully assembled, expect the texture or flavor to change after the dish has been thawed. Just place the leftovers in an airtight container and seal with the lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Frozen Sushi?

To defrost the frozen sushi, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the sushi to thaw for several hours to overnight. Never thaw the sushi by letting it stand at room temperature. This increases the risk of contamination and bacterial growth! Once the sushi has been defrosted, it’s ready to eat. Since sushi is served chilled, it doesn’t require reheating at all.

Summary

Sushi is one of the healthiest and most popular Japanese dishes for a reason. The savory taste of the vinegared rice pairs so well with the fresh seafood, nori, and wasabi. Freezing sushi may be tricky and will require trial and error but as long as the dish won’t go to waste, all that effort is worth it! Now that you know how can you freeze sushi, there’s no need to worry about what to do with your leftovers.

Dish

Can You Freeze Spaghetti?

Can you freeze spaghetti? If you ever thought about freezing leftovers after a good spaghetti dinner, I have good news for you. You can freeze spaghetti easily just as many people do on a regular basis.

For taste, economy, and wide appeal, there’s nothing like a spaghetti dinner. With or without meatballs, spaghetti and sauce are great for a big family dinner, lunch for the kids, and even for a quick snack for the avid pasta lover.

The best of cooks will admit, however, that they often misjudge the amount of spaghetti they should cook for a meal. So much depends on package directions (which can be wrong about true serving size) or on grandma’s traditional plate of spaghetti and meatballs (which can be ‘way too much for even a football player to consume). This begs the question,” Can You Freeze Spaghetti?” in order to deal with the leftovers.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

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How to Freeze Spaghetti?

Cooks vary in their approach to freezing this most popular of pasta. One reliable way is to freeze sauce and meatballs separately from the spaghetti itself.

Cooking the Pasta for Freezing

To freeze the spaghetti, most cooks recommend that you cook the pasta al dente or just until firm. If the spaghetti is too soft after cooking, and subsequently frozen, it may fall apart when thawed and reheated.

So, go with al dente. Then drain, cool and bag the pasta, or place in bowls or plastic containers.

Packing the Spaghetti for Freezing

Place sauce and meatballs in Tupperware or other plastic storage containers. Be sure to oil the inside of these containers so that the tomato sauce does not stain the plastic bright orange. You can also use quart-size resealable plastic storage bags or Pyrex bowls with covers.

Prepared in this way, your sauce and meatballs will last indefinitely, but of course, label the bags or containers with the date you place them in the freezer. Also, remove as much air as possible from the bags.

Some cooks recommended adding a bit of your favorite olive oil to the spaghetti as this helps prevent it sticking together in one big, congealed lump– edible, yes, but unattractive.

In addition, many people choose to combine their sauce, meatballs, and spaghetti into one dish, and then put the finished product into separate containers and bags. Experiment with the different methods, and over time, you will discover what works best for you and your family.

How to Defrost Frozen Spaghetti?

When you decide to use your frozen spaghetti, there are a couple of ways you can go about it. Just keep in mind, as with thawing any frozen food, that slowly is best.

Take the appropriate portion of spaghetti, sauce, and meatballs out of the freezer and transfer to the refrigerator. Give them at least a full day to thaw out completely.

For pasta and sauce stored in plastic zipper bags, running the bags under warm water or submerging them in a pot of cold water (just as you would thaw a Thanksgiving turkey) can speed up the process.

For single serving sizes of spaghetti and sauce, simply taking them to work or school in the morning and leaving them at room temperature will pretty much guarantee to thaw by lunchtime. Then, reheat in the microwave.

Summary

Freezing spaghetti is one of the best ways to maximize leftovers or whip up make-ahead meals. Now that you know how can you freeze spaghetti, go ahead and try it today. Freezing is a time saver and a great way to be frugal with your food budget.

Dish

Can You Freeze Chili?

Can you freeze chili for later? Chili is satisfyingly delicious when made homemade in large batches. Large batches mean leftovers. That begs the question – can you freeze chili? Thankfully, you can freeze chili and heat it up later on when you need a quick satisfying meal that provides warmth and comfort.

There are different types of chili recipes and some will freeze better than others. Leftover chili dishes that seem to freeze well are ones made with ground meats such as chicken, turkey burger, and beef. Vegetable chili does not tend to freeze well and the vegetables tend to become so mushy that they become part of the chili sauce.

Vegetable chili is never best frozen so if that is the kind you have made up, it is best to eat as much up as you can the day you make it and place the leftovers in the refrigerator to eat up within the next few days for a quick satisfying lunch or dinner.

Other types of chili dishes that do not tend to freeze well are ones made from creams, milks, and cheeses to create a white chili. The flavors of white chili dishes tend to change drastically to the point they do not taste good. Tomato base chili seems to freeze the best and stay the freshest longest when kept in the freezer.

Chili kept frozen for longer than 2-months develops a freezer burn flavor and will mush up during the cooking process. Below is a simple guide on how to freeze chili properly:

How to Freeze Chili?

You can safely freeze leftover chili by scooping it into small portion freezer containers and placing them immediately into the freezer afterward. You should never freezer leftover chili if it is a day old.

Instead, always freeze leftover chili the same day you make it because it is fresher and will hold most of its delicious flavor and texture. The chances of harmful bacteria developing in it by freezing leftover chili the same day it is made preventing the likely hood of receiving food poisoning the next time you go to eat it.

With that said, anytime you freeze chili, it is best to eat it up within the first two months so it still contains the same fresh flavor and thick texture. The longer chili is kept frozen the more the flavor and texture changes.

Can you freeze chili

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How to Defrost Frozen Chili?

The proper way to defrost chili is by taking it directly from the freezer and defrosting it in the microwave for about 3-minutes on the defrost setting. Next, you can empty out the chili from the containers into a saucepan and heat it up on medium heat until it is thick in texture with full satisfying flavor again.

If you do find the chili is a bit watery in texture and has lost a bit of its flavor you can add in a bit of cornstarch and seasoning. These help thicken and spice it up a bit, so it tastes just as delightful as when you first cooked it up.

After, you can serve it up hot and eat it as it is, or you can top it off with cheese or scoop it over tortilla chips and eat it that way. Sometimes leftover freezer chili makes the best chilidogs and burgers so go ahead and try these tasty meals out too with your leftover chili.

Summary

Leftover chili made with a tomato base is the best type of chili to freeze. White chili and vegetable chili dishes do not freeze well.

The next time you have leftovers, go ahead and freeze it up the same day. Now that you know how to freeze chili, you can enjoy this dish at a later when you want something warm, spicy and comforting on a cool dreary day.

Dish

Can You Freeze Coleslaw?

Can you freeze coleslaw for later? There are many questions to whether or not you can freeze coleslaw or not.

The truth is you can as long as it is vinegar based and not mayonnaise based. Mayonnaise-based coleslaw spoils rapidly, which why when you make up a batch you should only make up enough to feed a number of people eating it. Trying to save mayonnaise-based coleslaw more than two days in the refrigerator to retain freshness is difficult enough.

However, vinegar based coleslaw remain freshest the longest and are safely frozen because the vinegar, sugars, and spices typically used to make this type of coleslaw actually help preserve the shredded blends of veggies used to make a coleslaw dish such as the cabbage, carrots, and broccoli.

The best way to eat coleslaw is fresh the day it is made. Trying to store coleslaw any longer than a day while retaining some crunch and flavor is almost impossible, which is especially true when it comes to coleslaw dishes made with mayonnaise dressing.

With vinegar based coleslaws freezing is really only recommended when you want to make the batch up ahead of time for a cookout or dinner party to have on hand as an extra side dish later on when enough time isn’t available to you to make up a batch.

Otherwise, freezing coleslaw is not recommended. Coleslaw always tastes best fresh and stores the best in the refrigerator for the shortest amount of time possible. Below is a guide on how can you freeze coleslaw:

How to Freeze Coleslaw?

It is always important to freeze vinegar-based coleslaw after it has been freshly made. You should never fresh coleslaw that is a couple days old because the chances of bacteria growing in it increase the risk of receiving food poisoning after eating it.

Coleslaw

Image used under Creative Commons from rfduck

To freeze a fresh batch of vinegar coleslaw simply scoop it into a freezer-safe container, seal it shut well to prevent frostbite from occurring and place a label with the date you made the coleslaw onto the container.

After, place the container in the freezer where it should stay fresh for up to 1-month. Trying to keep coleslaw longer than a month with drastically change the flavor and texture of it. Freezing coleslaw as it makes it watery than usual because the veggies extract their juices the longer they are coated with a vinegar dressing.

How to Defrost Frozen Coleslaw?

The proper way to defrost vinegar coleslaws is by placing taking the container of it from the freezer and placing it directly into the refrigerator where it will take about 12-hours to defrost.

Never place coleslaw dishes on the counter or in a bowl of water to defrost because this could increase bacteria growth in the coleslaw. Coleslaw must be kept at a constant cool temperature in order to remain fresh.

Once the coleslaw is defrosted, it should be eaten up within 3-days. After that, any coleslaw remaining should be tossed out since you do not want to risk food poisoning.

Summary

Freezing may not be the ideal way to preserve this classic dish but it works as far as extending the shelf life of coleslaw goes. Now that you know how can you freeze coleslaw, you can keep the leftovers in the freezer and enjoy it later! As long as the slaw is stored properly, it will keep well in the freezer.

 

Noodles & Pastas

Can You Freeze Lasagna?

Can you freeze lasagna? It can take some effort to prepare Lasagna so many people like to freeze it to make for an easy heat-and-serve meal. It is also a favorite housewarming and new baby gift. Lasagna keeps very well in the freezer and can be thawed and reheated with very little loss of quality.

Lasagna can be frozen either before or after it is baked. If you plan on freezing lasagna, it is best to prepare it in a dish that is safe for the freezer and the oven, making for an easy meal. Glass and ceramic baking dishes are both good options. Metal pans should be avoided, as the lasagna could take on a metallic taste over time.

Many people like to prepare two lasagnas at the same time, and freeze one to enjoy later. This also helps save money, by allowing you to buy in bulk, or otherwise use up as many ingredients as possible. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze lasagna:

How to Freeze Lasagna?

Freezing leftover lasagna in single-serve slices is another way to make a convenient weeknight dinner. There is very little difference in flavor or texture between pre-baked and unbaked frozen lasagna. The choice which type of lasagna to freeze is a matter of convenience.

Lasagna should not be frozen if it was made using frozen ingredients. The thawing and refreezing allow for the introduction of harmful bacteria, which increases with each freeze and thaw cycle.

If you choose to use frozen ingredients, make sure they have only been frozen and thawed once before, and make sure to bake your lasagna thoroughly prior to freezing it.
Slice of lasagna

Image used under Creative Commons from stu_spivack

Prior to freezing, lasagna should be cooled to room temperature, or placed into the refrigerator to chill. This will improve the quality of the lasagna when reheated.

Chilling the lasagna will also make it easier to cut into single-serve slices if you desire. It should be wrapped air-tight with plastic wrap, or individual slices can be stored in plastic bags.

Make sure to wrap it well to prevent freezer burn and drying. If you prefer, you can line your baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and once cooled lift the lasagna from the pan to transfer to a suitable freezer container. This way, you can keep using the baking dish, rather than having it in the freezer. Lasagna can be kept for about three months in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Lasagna?

Thawing Frozen Lasagna

Lasagna should be fully thawed prior to reheating or baking, to ensure even cooking. The best method to do this is to place it in the refrigerator the night before, allowing it to slowly thaw.

Lasagna can also be thawed in the microwave or placed in a cold oven, allowing the oven to heat up around it, but this may affect the taste and texture of your heated lasagna.Once thawed, lasagna should be covered

Reheating Thawed Lasagna

Once thawed, lasagna should be covered with foil to prevent excess browning (especially if pre-baked), and cooked in a 350° oven for 30-40 minutes, until hot all the way through. The foil can be removed in the last 10 minutes of cooking if you desire additional browning.

Individual portions can also be reheated in the microwave. Keep your lasagna chilled until ready to cook it, to prevent bacterial growth. Your lasagna should taste as good reheated as it did originally! Some people even prefer reheated lasagna, as it allows the flavors to meld.

Summary

Nothing better than a serving of lasagna as a snack or a meal. Lasagna is one of those pasta dishes that taste better the second time around. Now that you know how can you freeze lasagna, you can store your leftovers for longer without worrying about spoilage!